Combine a long winter cooped up inside with a few binge-watched seasons of “Fixer Upper,” and you could have a recipe for shopping.
“Generally speaking, by the time you get to mid-February, you’ve been sitting indoors a lot — staring at your family, your pets and your furniture — and figuring out all of the inadequacies of what you currently own,” says Art Markman, a professor of marketing and psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and author of “Brain Briefs.”
“I think it’s no surprise that historically, Presidents Day weekend sales often focus around things in the home,” Markman adds.
Retailers campaign for your attention
Retailers are filling the holiday weekend leading up to Feb. 19 with markdowns on sofas, rugs, bedroom sets, appliances and mattresses, all of which make redecorating a little bit cheaper.
Last year, stores enticed shoppers with Presidents Day deals that included a combination of coupon codes and percent-off sales. Ashley HomeStore, for instance, offered 25% off qualifying online purchases of $3,000 or more. Joss & Main gave out a coupon code for an additional 20% off home categories.
Furniture is a big-ticket category that has historically been discounted over Presidents Day, but sales often extend to smaller products like bedding, decor and even clothing as well.
Last year, Presidents Day weekend deals were better than the deals leading up to Valentine’s Day, according to data from Honey, a browser extension that automatically finds coupon codes. Honey shoppers saved an average of 18.1% on their entire purchase over Presidents Day weekend (Feb. 17-20) compared with 16.9% the previous weekend (Feb. 10-13).
Holiday weekends typically translate to an opportunity for consumption, according to Markman. To avoid overconsumption, the best strategy is to walk into a Presidents Day sale with a potential purchase already in mind.
“It’s very easy when you go shopping without a goal to have the items in the store create goals for you,” he says. “I think that’s generally speaking a way to accumulate stuff and potentially to accumulate debt.”
Stores offer a suite of discounts
If you need something for your home, here are some of the 2018 Presidents Day sales you can benefit from. Check with each retailer for full details.
- AllModern: Through Feb. 20, take an extra 15% off with code LIBERTY
- Casper: Through Feb. 20, save up to $200 with code PREZ200
- Houzz: Through Feb. 25, save up to 80% on kitchen, dining room, bedroom, bathroom and living room furniture and decor
- Joss & Main: Through Feb. 21, take an extra 20% off with code SCORE
- Kmart: Feb. 18 through Feb. 24, all Serta mattresses are on sale
- Lowe’s: Feb. 17 through Feb. 23, get up to 35% off select appliances
- Mattress Firm: Through Feb. 19, get a free LP50 adjustable base when you spend $500 on any mattress
- Overstock: Shop thousands of deals, including savings of up to 70% off
- Sears: Save up to 40% on home appliances
- Wayfair: Through Feb. 21, TV stands and cookware are up to 70% off. Bedroom furniture and lighting are up to 65% off.
Much like after test-driving a car, it’s easy to fall in love with a piece of furniture after seeing it in the store, Markman says. Know your upper budget limit (and hold yourself to it) to avoid the temptation of a more expensive style.
Once you know what you want and where you want to buy it, make sure you’re not overpaying. If a price lowers after you shop, you may be able to recoup the difference, says Eric Glyman, CEO of price-tracking app Paribus. Apps like Paribus and Earny contact retailers after post-purchase price drops to request refunds for you.